God’s Role with Money and Possessions
I. GOD OWNS EVERYTHING
A. GOD OWNS EVERYTHING ON EARTH
And he [Melchizedek] blessed him and said, “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth” (Genesis 14:19).
And Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have sworn to the Lord God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth (Genesis 14:22).
Moses said to him [Pharaoh], “As soon as I go out of the city, I will spread out my hands to the Lord; the thunder will cease, and there will be hail no longer, that you may know that the earth is the Lord’s” (Exodus 9:29).
Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine (Exodus 19:5).
Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the highest heavens, the earth and all that is in it (Deuteronomy 10:14).
Yours, O Lord, is . . . everything that is in the heavens and the earth . . . who am I and who are my people that we should be able to offer as generously as this? For all things come from You, and from Your hand we have given You. For we are sojourners before You, and tenants . . . all this abundance that we have provided to build You a house for Your holy name, it is from Your hand, and all is Yours (1 Chronicles 29:11, 14-16).
Who has given to Me that I should repay him? Whatever is under the whole heaven is Mine (Job 41:11).
The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it (Psalm 24:1).
If I were hungry, I would not tell you; for the whole world is Mine; and all it contains (Psalm 50:12).
Arise, O God, judge the earth! For it is Thou does possess all the nations (Psalm 82:8).
The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours; the world and all it contains, You have founded them (Psalm 89:11).
In whose hands are the depths of the earth; the peaks of the mountains are His also. The sea is His, for it was He who made it; and His hands formed the dry land (Psalm 95:4-5).
O Lord, how many are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all; the earth if full of Your possessions (Psalm 104:24).
For the earth is the Lord’s, and everything that is in it (1 Corinthians 10:26).
1. Parable illustrating God’s ownership
For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves, and entrusted his possessions to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey. Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents. In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more. But he who received the one talent went away and dug in the ground, and hid his master’s money.
Now after a long time, the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. And the one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted five talents to me; see, I have gained five more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave; you were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things, enter into the joy of your master.’
The one also who had received the two talents came up and said, ‘Master, you entrusted to me two talents; see, I have gained two more talents.’ His master said to him, `Well done, good and faithful slave; you were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’
And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed. And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground; see, you have what is yours.’ But his master answered and said to him, ‘You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I scattered no seed. Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest. Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has ten talents’ (Matthew 25:14-28).
2. Lord holds all things together
He . . . upholds all things by the word of His power (Hebrews 1:3).
“. . . and in Him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17).
B. SPECIFIC POSSESSIONS GOD OWNS
The land, moreover, shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine . . . (Leviticus 25:23).
2. Gold and silver
You also took your beautiful jewels made of My gold and of My silver, which I had given you, and made for yourself male images that you might play the harlot with them (Ezekiel 16:17).
“The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,” declares the Lord of hosts (Haggai 2:8).
For every beast of the forest is Mine, the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird of the mountains, and everything that moves in the field is Mine (Psalm 50:10-11).
II. GOD CONTROLS EVERY EVENT
A. LORD CONTROLS ALL EVENTS ON EARTH
. . . Your is the dominion, O Lord, and You exalt Yourself as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all, and in Your hand is power and might; and it lies in Your hand to make great, and to strengthen everyone (1 Chronicles 29:11-12).
Whatever the Lord pleases, He does, in heaven and in earth . . . (Psalm 135:6).
The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord (Proverbs 16:33).
Man’s steps are ordained by the Lord, how then can man understand his way? (Proverbs 20:24).
Daniel answered and said, “Let the name of God be blessed forever…it is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings . . . (Daniel 2:20-21).
1. Lord allows difficult circumstances to occur
Then all his [Job’s] brothers, and all his sisters, and all who had known him before, came to him, and they ate bread with him in his house; and they consoled him and comforted him for all the evil that the Lord had brought on him (Job 42:11).
. . . I am the Lord, and there is no other, the One forming light and creating darkness, causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the Lord who does all these (Isaiah 45:6-7).
Who is there who speaks and it comes to pass, unless the Lord has commanded it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both good and ill go forth? (Lamentations 3:37-38).
. . . If a calamity occurs in a city has not the Lord done it? (Amos 3:6).
a. Lord uses every circumstance for a good purpose in the life of the godly
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
1) Example of Lord allowing difficult circumstances for ultimate good
Do not be grieved or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant in the earth, and to keep you alive by a great deliverance. Now, therefore, it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh and lord of all his household and ruler over all the land of Egypt. Hurry and go up to my father, and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph, “God has made me lord of all Egypt . . . (Genesis 45:5-9).
2. People’s perspective of the control of the events
I again saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift, and the battle is not to the warriors, and neither is bread to the wise, nor wealth to the discerning, nor favor to men of ability; for time and chance overtake them all (Ecclesiastes 9:11).
B. SPECIFIC EVENTS AND ITEMS LORD CONTROLS
1. Lord directs people’s hearts
The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes (Proverbs 21:1).
a. Lord can give godly people favor with others
But the Lord was with Joseph and extended kindness to him, and gave him favor in the sight of the chief jailer (Genesis 39:21).
…the Lord had caused them to rejoice, and had turned the heart of the king of Assyria toward them to encourage them in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel (Ezra 6:22).
…the king granted them [Nehemiah’s requests] to me because the good hand of my God was on me…I told them how the hand of my God had been favorable to me . . . (Nehemiah 2:8, 18).
1) Example of Israelites plundering Egyptians
I [the Lord] will grant this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and it shall be that when you go, you will not go empty-handed. But every woman shall ask of her neighbor and the woman who lives in her house, articles of silver and articles of gold, and clothing; and you will put them on your sons and daughters. Thus you will plunder the Egyptians (Exodus 3:21-22).
Now the sons of Israel had done according to the word of Moses, for they had requested from the Egyptians articles of silver and articles of gold, and clothing; and the Lord had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have their request. Thus they plundered the Egyptians (Exodus 12:35-36).
b. Lord makes some people obstinate
Thus I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will chase after them; and I will be honored through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord . . . (Exodus 14:4).
But Sihon king of Heshbon was not willing for us to pass through his land; for the Lord your God hardened his spirit and made his heart obstinate, in order to deliver him into your hand, as he is today (Deuteronomy 2:30).
c. Lord controls the coveting of a person’s heart
Three times a year all your males are to appear before the Lord God, the God of Israel. For I will drive out nations before you and enlarge your borders, and no man shall covet your land when you go up three times a year to appear before the Lord your God (Exodus 34:23-24).
2. Lord controls the nations
He made from one, every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times, and the boundaries of their habitation (Acts 17:26).
. . . “O king, do not let the army of Israel go with you, for the Lord is not with Israel nor with any of the sons of Ephraim…God will bring you down before the enemy, for God has power to help and to bring down” (2 Chronicles 25:7-9).
Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger . . . I sent it against a godless nation and commission it against the people of My fury to capture booty and to seize plunder . . . (Isaiah 10:5-6).
III. GOD PROVIDES EVERYTHING
A. EVERYTHING COMES FROM LORD
For all things come from You . . . (1 Chronicles 29:14).
For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things (Romans 11:36).
1. A location called “the Lord will provide”
Abraham called the name of the place The Lord Will Provide . . . (Genesis 22:14).
2. God gives food to all
[the Lord] gives food to all flesh . . . (Psalm 136:25).
The eyes of all look to You, and You give them their food in due time. You open Your hand, and satisfy the desire of every living thing (Psalm 145:15-16).
B. Examples of Lord providing
1. In wilderness
For the Lord your God . . . has known your wanderings through this great wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you; you have not lacked a thing (Deuteronomy 2:7).
He led you through the great and terrible wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water; He brought water for you out of the rock of flint. In the wilderness He fed you manna which your fathers did not know . . . (Deuteronomy 8:15-16).
You provided bread from heaven for them [Israel] for their hunger, You brought forth water from a rock for them for their thirst (Nehemiah 9:15).
Indeed, forty years You provided for them in the wilderness and they were not in want; their clothes did not wear out, nor did their feet swell (Nehemiah 9:21).
2. During sabbatical year
But if you say, “What are we going to eat on the seventh year if we do not sow or gather in our crops?” then I will so order My blessing for you in the sixth year that it will bring forth the crop for three years. When you are sowing the eighth year, you can still eat old things from the crop, eating the old until the ninth year when its crop comes in (Leviticus 25:20-22).
3. Feeding the multitudes
And when it was evening, the disciples came to Him saying, “The place is desolate, and the time is already past; so send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat!” And they said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.” And He said, “Bring them here to Me.” And ordering the multitudes to recline on the grass, He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He blessed the food, and breaking the loaves He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave to the multitudes, and they all ate, and were satisfied. And they picked up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve full baskets. And there were about five thousand men who ate, aside from women and children (Matthew 14:15-21).
And Jesus called His disciples to Him, and said, “I feel compassion for the multitude, because they have remained with Me now three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not wish to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.” And the disciples said to Him, “Where would we get so many loaves in a desolate place to satisfy such a great multitude?” And Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have? And they said, “Seven, and a few small fish.” And He directed the multitude to sit down on the ground; and He took the seven loaves and the fish; and giving thanks, He broke them and started giving them to the disciples, and the disciples in turn, to the multitudes. And they all ate, and were satisfied, and they picked up what was left over of the broken pieces, seven large baskets full. And those who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children (Matthew 15:32-38).
But Jesus, aware of this, said, “You men of little faith, why do you discuss among yourselves because you have no bread? Do you not yet understand or remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many large baskets you took up? Or the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets you took up? (Matthew 16:8-10).
When it was already quite late, His disciples came up to him and began saying, “The place is desolate and it is already quite late; send them away so that they may go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” But He answered and said to them, “You give them something to eat!” And they said to Him, “Shall we go and spend two hundred denarii on bread and give them something to eat?” And He said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go look!” And when they found out, they said, “Five and two fish.” And He commanded them all to recline by groups on the green grass. And they reclined in companies of hundreds and of fifties. And he took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, he blessed the food and broke the loaves and he kept giving them to the disciples to set before them; and He divided up the two fish among them all. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they picked up twelve full baskets of the broken pieces, and also of the fish. And there were five thousand men who ate the loaves (Mark 6:35-44).
In those days again, when there was a great multitude and they has nothing to eat, He summoned His disciples and said to them, “I feel compassion for the multitude because they have remained with Me now three days, and have nothing to eat; and if I send them away fasting to their home, they will faint on the way; and some of them have come a distance.” And His disciples answered Him, “Where will anyone be able to find enough to satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness?” And He was asking them, “How many loaves do you have?” And they said, “Seven.” And He directed the multitude to sit down on the ground; and taking the seven loaves, He gave thanks and broke them, and began giving them to His disciples to serve to them, and they served them to the multitude. They also had a few small fish; and after He had blessed them, He ordered these to be served as well. And they ate and were satisfied; and they picked up seven full baskets of what was left over of the broken pieces. And about four thousand were there; and He sent them away (Mark 8:1-9).
“Do you not remember, when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces you picked up?” They said to Him, “Twelve.” “And when I broke the seven for the four thousand, how many large baskets full of broken pieces did you pick up?” And they said to Him, “Seven” (Mark 8:18-20).
The day began to decline, and the twelve came and said to Him, “Send the multitude away, that they may go into the surrounding villages and countryside and find lodging and get something to eat; for here we are in a desolate place.” But He said to them, “You give them something to eat!” And they said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish, unless perhaps we go and buy food for all these people.” (For there were about five thousand men.) And He said to His disciples, “Have them recline to eat in groups of about fifty each.” And they did so, and had them all recline. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed them, and broke them, and kept giving them to the disciples to set before the multitude. And they all ate and were satisfied; and the broken pieces which they had left over were picked up, twelve baskets full (Luke 9:12-17).
Jesus therefore lifting up His eyes, and seeing that a great multitude was coming to Him, said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, that these may eat?” And this He was saying to test him; for He Himself knew what he was intending to do. Philip answered Him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, for everyone to receive a little.” One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are these for so many people?” Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. Jesus therefore took the loaves; and having given thanks, He distributed to those who were seated; likewise also of the fish as much as they wanted. And when they were filled, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments that nothing may be lost.” And so they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves, which were left over by those who had eaten (John 6:5-13).
4. At the sea shore
There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples. Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will also come with you.” They went out, and got into the boat; and that night they caught nothing. But when the day was now breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus therefore said to them, “Children, you do not have any fish, do you?” They answered Him, “No.” And He said to them, “Cast the net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you will find a catch.” They cast therefore, and then they were not able to haul it in because of the great number of fish. That disciple therefore whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord.” And so when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put his outer garment on (for he was stripped for work), and threw himself into the sea. But the other disciples came in the little boat, for they were not far from the land, but about one hundred yards away, dragging the net full of fish. And so when they got out upon the land, they saw a charcoal fire already laid, and fish placed on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish which you have now caught.” Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not torn (John 21:2-11).
C. LORD PROVIDES FOR THOSE WHO SEEK AND OBEY HIM
Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope for His lovingkindness, to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine (Psalm 33:18-19).
O fear the Lord, you His saints; for to those who fear Him, there is no want. The young lions do lack and suffer hunger; but they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing (Psalm 34:9-10).
Oh that My people would listen to Me, that Israel would walk in My ways…I would feed you with the finest of the wheat; with honey from the rock I would satisfy you (Psalm 81:13, 16).
The Lord will not allow the righteous to hunger . . . (Proverbs 10:3).
[Because of their faithfulness] my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things [food and clothing] shall be added to you (Matthew 6:33).
For all these things [food and clothing] the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things. But seek for his kingdom, and these things shall be added to you (Luke 12:30-31).
IV. GOD GIVES RICHES AND POSSESSIONS
A. EVERYTHING COMES FROM THE LORD
For all things come from You (1 Chronicles 29:14).
For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things (Romans 11:36).
Instruct those who are rich in this present world not . . . to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy (1 Timothy 6:17).
B. LORD GIVES RICHES AND MATERIAL POSSESSIONS
Both riches and honor come from You . . . who am I [David] and who are my people that we should be able to offer as generously as this? For all things come from You, and from Your hand we have given You. For we are sojourners before You, and tenants, as all our fathers were; our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no hope. O Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided to build You a house for Your holy name, it is from Your hand . . . (1 Chronicles 29:12, 14-16).
. . . as for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, He has also empowered him to eat from them and to receive his reward and rejoice in his labor; this is the gift of God (Ecclesiastes 5:19).
There is an evil which I have seen under the sun and it is prevalent among men – a man to whom God has given riches and wealth and honor so that his soul lacks nothing of all that he desires, but God has not empowered him to eat from them (Ecclesiastes 6:1-2).
I have made the earth, the men and the beasts which are on the face of the earth by My great power and by My outstretched arm, and I will give it to the one who is pleasing in My sight (Jeremiah 27:5).
1. Examples of Lord giving riches and possessions
A. Lord gave children of Israel the Promised Land
“The land which I [The Lord] gave to Abraham and Isaac, I will give it to you, and I will give the land to your descendants after you” (Genesis 35:12).
I will bring you to the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and I will give it to you for a possession; I am the Lord (Exodus 6:8).
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan and to be your God (Leviticus 25:38).
Then it shall come about when the Lord your God brings you into the land which He swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you, great and splendid cities which you did not build, and houses full of all good things which you did not fill, and hewn cisterns which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant, and you shall eat and be satisfied, then watch yourself, lest you forget the Lord . . . (Deuteronomy 6:10-12).
For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing forth in valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey; a land where you shall eat food without scarcity, in which you shall not lack anything; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper. When you have eaten and are satisfied, you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you (Deuteronomy 8:7-10).
Then it shall be, when you enter the land which the Lord your God gives you as an inheritance, and you possess it and live in it, that you shall take some of the first of all the produce of the ground which you shall bring in from your land that the Lord your God gives you…you shall go to the priest who is in office at that time, and say to him, `I declare this day to the Lord my God that I have entered the land which the Lord swore to our fathers to give us’ (Deuteronomy 26:1-3).
And I [the Lord] gave you a land on which you had not labored, and cities which you had not built, and you have lived in them; and you are eating of vineyards and olive yards which you did not plant (Joshua 24:13).
. . . You told them to enter in order to possess the land which You swore to give them (Nehemiah 9:15).
Behold we are slaves today, and as to the land which You did give to our fathers to eat of its fruit and its boundary, behold, we are slaves on it (Nehemiah 9:36).
For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly practice justice . . . then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers forever . . . (Jeremiah 7:5-7).
b. Other examples
The Lord has greatly blessed my master [Abraham], so that he has become rich; and He has given him flocks and herds, and silver and gold, and servants and maids, and camels and donkeys (Genesis 24:35).
Now Isaac sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year a hundredfold. And the Lord blessed him, and the man became rich, and continued to grow richer until he became very wealthy; for he had possessions of flocks and herds and a great household . . . (Genesis 26:12-14).
And the Lord your God will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers (Deuteronomy 30:5).
And David was prospering in all his ways for the Lord was with him (1 Samuel 18:14-15).
Now it was told King David, saying, “The Lord has blessed the house of Obed-edom and all that belongs to him, on account of the ark of God . . . (2 Samuel 6:12).
God said to Solomon . . . I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings who were before you has possessed, nor those who will come after you” (2 Chronicles 1:11-12).
He hired also 100,000 valiant warriors out of Israel for one hundred talents of silver. But a man of God came to him saying, “O king, do not let the army of Israel go with you…Amaziah said to the man of God, “But what shall we do for the hundred talents which I have given to the troops of Israel?” And the man of God answered, “The Lord has much more to give you than this.” (2 Chronicles 25:6-9).
Then Satan answered the Lord, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land (Job 1:9-10).
And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the Lord increased all that Job had twofold…the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning, and he had 14,000 sheep, and 6,000 camels, and 1,000 yoke of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys (Job 42:10,12).
. . . He brought them out with silver and gold . . . (Psalm 105:37).
And I will give you [Cyrus] the treasures of darkness, and hidden wealth of secret places, in order that you may know that it is I, The Lord, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name (Isaiah 45:3).
And now I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, My servant . . . (Jeremiah 27:5-7).
“Thus you were adorned with gold and silver…your fame went forth among the nations on account of your beauty, for it was perfect because of My splendor which I bestowed on you,” declares the Lord God…You also took your beautiful jewels made of My gold and of My silver, which I had given you, and made for yourself male images…Also My bread which I gave you, fine flour, oil, and honey with which I fed you, you would offer before them for a soothing aroma; so it happened,” declares the Lord God (Ezekiel 16:13-14,17-19).
Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon made his army labor hard against Tyre; every head was made bald, and every shoulder was rubbed bare. But he and his army had no wages from Tyre for the labor that he had performed against it. Therefore, thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I shall give the land of Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. And he will carry off her wealth, and capture her spoil and seize her plunder; and it will be wages for his army” (Ezekiel 29:18-19).
For she [Israel] does not know that it was I who gave her the grain, the new wine, and the oil, and lavished on her silver and gold, which they used for Baal (Hosea 2:8).
1) Abraham did not want a person to take credit for making him rich
And Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have sworn to the Lord God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth, that I will not take a thread or a sandal thong or anything that is yours, lest you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich.’” (Genesis 14:22-23).
2. Lord sometimes gives riches after testing and humbling
He led you through the great and terrible wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water; He brought water for you out of the rock of flint. In the wilderness He fed you manna which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do good for you in the end. Otherwise, you may say in your heart, ‘My power and the strength of my hand made me this wealth.’ But you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth . . . (Deuteronomy 8:15-18).
For You have tried us, O God; You have refined us as silver is refined. You brought us into the net; You laid an oppressive burden upon our loins. You made men ride over our heads; we went through the fire and water; yet You brought us out into a place of abundance (Psalm 66:10-12).
3. Lord gives possessions to his children even in their sleep
. . . He gives to His beloved even in his sleep (Psalm 127:2).
4. When Lord gives riches, it is a blessing
It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich, and He adds no sorrow to it (Proverbs 10:22).
5. Lord giving possessions conditioned upon obedience (See OUR PART Section)
6. Lord gives us precisely enough
Thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘It is I who anointed you [David] king over Israel…I also gave you your master’s house and…I gave you the house of Israel and Judah; and if that had been too little, I would have added to you many more things like these!” (2 Samuel 12:7-8).
a. According to individual ability to handle possesions
For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves, and entrusted his possessions to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability . . . (Matthew 25:14-15).
C. LORD CAUSES PROSPERITY
Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O Lord, who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your relatives, and I will prosper you’ (Genesis 32:9)
“For You said, ‘I will surely prosper you [Jacob]’ and make your descendants as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.’” (Genesis 32:12).
The Lord was with Joseph, so he became a successful man. And he was in the house of his master, the Egyptian. Now his master saw that the Lord was with him and how the Lord caused all that he did to prosper in his hand (Genesis 39:2-3).
The chief jailer did not supervise anything under Joseph’s charge because the Lord was with him; and whatever he did, the Lord made to prosper (Genesis 39:21-23).
1. Prosperity conditioned upon obedience and seeking God (See OUR PART Section)
2. Prayers for Lord to prosper
May the Lord give you increase, you and your children (Psalm 115:14).
O Lord, do save, we beseech You; O Lord, we beseech You, do send prosperity! (Psalm 118:25).
Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers (3 John 2).
D. LORD GIVES AND TAKES AWAY POSSESSIONS
And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God (Job 1:21-22).
Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die!” But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips (Job 2:9-10).
1. Lord makes rich and poor
The Lord make poor and rich; he brings low, He also exalts (1 Samuel 2:7).
In the day of prosperity be happy, but in the day of adversity consider – God has made the one as well as the other so that man may not discover anything that will be after him (Ecclesiastes 7:14).
2. Lord takes away or withholds possessions when unfaithful, disobedient or not seeking the Lord (see OUR PART Section)
a. Lord is merciful and will provide a means of restoration
So they forsook the Lord and served Baal and the Astartes. And the anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and He gave them into the hands of plunders who plundered them; and He sold them into the hands of their enemies around them, so that they could no longer stand before their enemies. Wherever they went, the hand of the Lord was against them for evil, as the Lord had spoken and as the Lord had sworn to them, so that they were severely distressed. Then the Lord raised up judges who delivered them from the hands of those who plundered them (Judges 2:13-16).
…I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, ‘declares the Lord . . . (Jeremiah 29:14).
Men shall buy fields for money, sign and seal deeds, and call in witnesses in the land of Benjamin, in the environs of Jerusalem . . . for I will restore their fortunes declares the Lord (Jeremiah 32:44).
I will restore the fortunes of Judah and the fortunes of Israel, and I will rebuild them as they were at first . . . I will restore the fortunes of the land as the were at first, says the Lord . . . I will restore their fortunes and will have mercy on them (Jeremiah 33:7, 11, 26).
“Yet I will restore the fortunes of Moab in the latter days,” declares the Lord (Jeremiah 48:47).
“I will restore the fortunes of the sons of Ammon,” declares the Lord (Jeremiah 49:6).
For behold, in those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all the nations [for judgment] (Joel 3:1-2).
For the Lord their God will care for them [Israel] and restore their fortune (Zephaniah 2:7).
“Indeed, I will give you [Israel] renown and praise among all the peoples of the earth, when I restore your fortunes before your eyes,” says the Lord (Zephaniah 3:20).
‘For before those days [return from captivity] there was no wage for man or wage for animal…But now I will not treat the remnant of this people as in the former days,’ declares the Lord of hosts. For there will be peace for the seed: the vine will yield its fruit, the land will yield its produce, and the heavens will give their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people to inherit all these things (Zechariah 8:10-12).
3. Lord takes away wealth of ungodly people and nations
The Lord will tear down the house of the proud, but He will establish the boundary of the widow (Proverbs 15:25).
Also they [Babylon] will make a spoil of your [Tyre] riches and a prey of your merchandise, break down your walls and destroy your pleasant houses . . . I will make you a bear rock; you will be a place for the spreading of nets. You will be built no more, for I the Lord have spoken (Ezekiel 26:12, 14).
For Tyre built herself a fortress and piled up silver like dust, and gold like the mire of the streets. Behold, the Lord will dispossess her and cast her wealth into the sea; and she will be consumed with fire (Zechariah 9:3-4).
Behold, a day is coming for the Lord when the spoil taken from you will be divided among you. For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered (Zechariah 14:1-2).
4. Lord sometimes transfers wealth from ungodly to godly people
You know that I [Jacob] served your father with all my strength. Yet your father has cheated me and changed my wages ten times; however, God did not allow him to hurt me…Thus God has taken away your father’s livestock and given them to me (Genesis 31:6-7, 9).
Rachel and Leah answered and said to him, “Do we still have any portion or inheritance in our father’s house? Are we not reckoned by him as foreigners? For he has sold us, and has also entirely consumed our purchase price. Surely all the wealth which God has taken from our father belongs to us and our children . . . (Genesis 31:14-16).
E. LORD PROTECTS OUR POSSESSIONS
Then Satan answered the Lord, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land (Job 1:9-10).
If the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had not been for me [Jacob], surely now you [Laban] would have sent me away empty-handed. God has seen my affliction and the toil of my hands, so He rendered judgment last night (Genesis 31:42).